12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes

It's the season for fresh, delicious foods and relaxation!

What’s your favorite part of summer? Is it the weather? The extra relaxation time? These things are wonderful, but for many of us, it’s the fresh and delicious food that sets this season above the rest. That’s why we’ve pulled together some of our best summer dinner recipes. Now, you can spend even more time relaxing outdoors!

Summer is the season of picnics, cookouts, and backyard barbecues. We shouldn’t be spending hours upon hours in the kitchen when it’s so beautiful outside, right? The recipes below are not only healthy and incredibly tasty, but they’re also super simple to make. This means you’ll have more time to kick back and chill out!

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes

1. Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Salmon, Cucumber, and Mint

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes

This light, refreshing, and nutritious salad makes a wonderful addition to any warm summer evening menu. It’s colorful, zesty, and full of Mediterranean flavors. We love salmon dishes because they offer a wide range of heart-healthy fats and essential nutrients that taste great too!

2. Slow Cooker Everything Chicken

Best Summer Dinner Recipes

Our versatile slow cooker everything chicken made the list because you can eat it a hundred different ways! It’s perfect for summer because it can cook all day while you’re out enjoying the weather. Throw it in some tacos, eat it as a barbecue chicken sandwich, or enjoy it in a fresh summer salad.

3. Clean Eating Chipotle Burgers

Awesome Summer Dinner Recipes

You’ll definitely want to make these clean chipotle burgers the next time you host a cookout! We have no doubt that the spicy patties and creamy avocado topping will be a crowd-pleaser that even the kids will love. Each burger contains fewer than 500 calories and packs a whopping 40 grams of protein. Seriously, what’s not to love?

4. Shrimp Skewers with Garlic Lime Marinade

Light Summer Dinner Recipes

Summertime is the season of skewers! Well, not officially…but it could be! These delicious garlic-lime shrimp skewers are not only scrumptious, but they’re low-carb and low-calorie, too. As a bonus, these skewers are really easy to prepare (on the grill or in the oven) and make for one yummy summer dinner.

5. Plant Based Burrito Bowl Recipe

Plant-Based Summer Dinner Recipes

We know our vegan and vegetarian friends will adore this recipe, but we have a good feeling that even meat-eaters will enjoy this plant-based dish! It’s full of fresh, vibrant, fibrous veggies and whole grain brown rice. This burrito bowl recipe is perfect on its own, but you can feel free to eat it with a piece of grilled fish or chicken if you like. 

6. Paleo Maryland Crab Cakes

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes

Seafood and summertime go hand-in-hand, don’t they? While these oven-baked crab cakes make a great snack or appetizer, you can also make them as an entree. Whip up a clean side salad, and you have yourself a well-rounded, healthy dinner.

7. Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs

Best Summer Dinner Recipes BBQ

It’s not summer until you’ve had some barbecue, and these yummy Instant Pot barbecue ribs are too easy not to make. While they do have to sit for two hours in the fridge, they take less than 30 minutes to cook! 

8. Skinny White Chicken Enchiladas

12 Summer Dinner Recipes

No, you’re not dreaming: You can have your enchiladas on a diet and eat them too! This creamy, skinny white chicken enchiladas recipe is loaded with flavor and only contains 316 calories per serving. Use the slow cooker everything chicken recipe from above and serve these enchiladas at your next summertime fiesta (just be prepared to hand out the recipe!).

9. Pineapple Honey Shrimp Taco Bowl

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes Shrimp Bowl

Pineapple, honey, and shrimp come together to make the perfect taco bowl. The nutritious ingredients and flavors play off of each other wonderfully, making this dish a real winner.

10. Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes Kebab

Our second summertime skewer recipe is just as flavorful and nutritious as the first. These marinated Hawaiian chicken and veggie kebabs are truly amazing. They also happen to make awesome, easy leftovers to take to the park or beach the following day!

11. Summer Fruit Quinoa Salad

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes Salad

This recipe is not your average salad, seeing as how it doesn’t actually contain any lettuce. It combines one of our favorite superfoods — quinoa — with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Top it off with a little bit of EVOO, orange zest, and fresh mint, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful summer entree or side dish.

12. Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger with Avocado Sauce

12 of the Best Summer Dinner Recipes Burgers

In addition to the chipotle burgers above, we highly recommend making these plant-based burgers at your next cookout. They are just as moist and juicy as beef patties and offer a wonderful texture too. Add a little (or a lot) of the savory avocado sauce and get ready to dig in!

Which one of these best summer dinner recipes are you looking forward to trying most? Luckily, there are plenty of summer nights, so you have the time to try them all! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. 

If you enjoy these healthy summer recipes, we think you’ll also want to try out these flavorful and healthy summertime desserts:

Be sure to follow SkinnyMs. on Pinterest so that you never miss out on a tasty recipe!

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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